Which foods help you sleep better? The Nutrition Breakthroughs Blog has provided several articles on the best sleep inducing foods, and those that follow below are the top five most popular articles of all time.
This article features a chart that summarizes research studies on foods that are high in the natural sleep hormone known as melatonin. What foods are high in melatonin? Find out more about walnuts, cherries, almonds and more. Also included in this article are good sources of potassium, calcium and magnesium – all proven to help remedy insomnia.
Melatonin levels start rising in the evening and go up to a peak level in the early hours of the morning, perhaps around 2:00 or 3:00 a.m, and then they reduce.
This may partially explain why some people can sleep fine for a few hours and then suddenly find themselves wide awake and unable to go back to sleep.
Do bananas help you sleep? Learn more about the research study that shows how tropical fruits such as bananas and pineapples increase melatonin in the body. It was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.
This article focuses on articles from research journals that have studied which foods are best for inducing sleep, and it also has some doctor recommendations on good bedtime snacks.
This collection of natural health articles on sleep helping foods is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2001.
Nutrition breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.
Which foods help you sleep better?
Studies have shown that certain foods are high in melatonin and magnesium and can help with a better night’s sleep. These include bananas, almonds, walnuts and tart cherries or their juice. Magnesium rich foods include yogurt, avocado, figs, nut butter, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
What foods are high in melatonin?
Learn more about walnuts, tart cherries, almonds, bananas and more. Also included in this article are good food sources of potassium, calcium and magnesium – all proven to help remedy insomnia.
Do bananas help you sleep?
Bananas are very high in potassium and a deficiency of potassium can interfere with restful sleep. Eating a banana before bedtime may help reduce nighttime awakenings and provide a better, deeper night’s sleep. Potassium is found abundantly in fresh vegetables and fruits, so these are a good focus as opposed to eating a lot of processed or packaged foods containing high salt.
What foods are sleep inducing?
Studies have shown that the following foods and beverages are sleep inducing: Bananas, tart cherries, tart cherry juice, almonds, walnuts, yogurt, salmon, pumpkin seeds, pineapple, nut butter, turkey, kiwi fruit and warm milk. Soothing teas shown to help sleep include chamomile, lavender, lemon balm and passionflower.
There are few things that feel worse than being exhausted, yet unable to sleep. In addition to insomnia (the inability to fall or stay asleep), many people also suffer from poor sleep quality, which can cause you to feel sleepy during the day despite getting eight or more hours of rest.
If you frequently have trouble getting a decent night’s sleep, it’s a good idea to see your doctor to rule out/treat any underlying conditions, such as sleep apnea or depression. For many people, sleep problems can be remedied naturally with lifestyle changes and proper nutrition. The following are five natural, safe and effective remedies that might help you get some good shut-eye.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that our bodies need for a multitude of biological roles, ranging from bone health to mental health. Human and animal studies also indicate that magnesium plays an important role in sleep, and that magnesium therapy can help insomnia sufferers. Although magnesium is available in a multitude of foods, the USDA says that 57 percent of Americans do not meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium. So how can you get more of this essential sleep nutrient? One method is to eat more foods with magnesium – fibrous foods, such as whole grains, nuts and vegetables are generally high in this mineral. Magnesium supplements in daily doses of less than 350 mg are also considered safe for most adults. Magnesium supplements can also help relieve constipation – another common consequence of a typical fiber-deficient American diet.
Although it may seem counterintuitive that bright light can actually help you sleep, getting enough natural light during the day is important for maintaining circadian rhythms that control our sleep-wake cycles. While many of us don’t get sufficient sunlight because we work indoors all day and/or live in a place that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight for much of the year, people who work night-shifts can be especially light-deprived. There is also a growing body of evidence suggesting that vitamin D, a nutrient we get from certain foods and from exposure to ultraviolet light, has wide-ranging health implications, and that a lack of it may cause insomnia and other serious health problems. To get enough sunlight and vitamin D for good health and good sleep, experts recommend getting 10 to 20 minutes of direct sunlight exposure each day – ideally, in the morning hours. Light therapy boxes and vitamin D supplements (in typical therapeutic doses) are also considered safe and effective.
Another major culprit for poor sleep is a lack of physical activity. America’s population is largely sedentary, spending most of the day sitting in a chair at work, sitting in the car while commuting, and sitting in front of the TV when we get home. Unless we find a way to incorporate some exercise into our daily routine, your body may not be tired enough to sleep well at night – even though your mind is exhausted. Exercise is also important for relieving stress and tension that accompany our modern, hectic lifestyles. Although you should aim to get at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day for good sleep and for good health in general, exercising vigorously within several hours of bedtime can actually interfere with your sleep. For this reason, gentle yoga, with its series of tension-relieving stretches and meditative elements, is an excellent type of exercise that you can practice in the evening to help you sleep – you can even do certain poses in bed! A 2010 University of Rochester study found that cancer survivors with insomnia who practiced gentle yoga for four weeks reported improved sleep quality and decreased use of sleep aids during the program’s duration.
4. Good sleep hygiene
Although it sounds like it might have to do with the cleanliness of your sheets, the term “sleep hygiene” is actually used to refer to your overall sleep environment and habits that can affect your sleep quality. Many of the factors that impact our sleep quality are environmental or have to do with our nighttime behaviors. The following elements are considered by sleep experts to be important components of good sleep hygiene:
* Going to sleep at the same time every night, and waking up at the same time each morning.
* Limiting or avoiding consumption of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol – all of which can impair sleep quality or make it hard to fall asleep.
* Avoiding late-night exposure to bright electronic screens, e.g., iPads, smartphones, TVs, computers, etc., which can disrupt circadian rhythms.
* Relaxing before bed with a warm bath or another restful activity. Lavender aromatherapy may also help relax you before bed to combat insomnia.
* Using the bedroom only for sleep and sex – not for watching TV or working from your laptop, for example.
* Making sure your sleeping environment is sufficiently cool, dark and quiet.
Like magnesium and vitamin D, B-vitamins are also important nutrients for sleep. In particular, B-6 is important for the production of serotonin, a “feel good” hormone which aids sleep and combats anxiety and restlessness that can keep you awake; and folic acid (B-9) deficiency has been found in those with insomnia and in those with depression, a condition which is often implicated in insomnia. Vitamin B-12 is also needed for good sleep and mental health, and certain populations, including seniors and vegans, are more likely to be deficient in this vitamin. Additionally, niacin, or B-3, has been shown to increase REM sleep and help with depression. Good food sources of B vitamins include animal products such as fish and dairy, and whole, unprocessed foods such as whole grains, beans, and green, leafy vegetables. Taken at recommended doses, B vitamin supplements are also generally considered to be quite safe, as they are water-soluble, meaning that any excess vitamins will be excreted through the urine.
This information was written by Lifed.com and is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II. Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleep, relaxation, heart health, restless legs syndrome, bone strength and menopause insomnia.
The formula also includes vitamin D and zinc, and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making it more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Doctor P. P. of Houston, Texas says: “I had developed sleeping problems and took two different sleep medications over the course of several weeks. When I discontinued them, the insomnia came back even worse. I literally got about 20 hours of sleep in 6 weeks time. Sleep Minerals II was an answer to my prayers. I’ve been taking it for a couple weeks and getting many hours of sleep a night. As a doctor I would definitely avoid prescribing sleeping drugs — I would recommend Sleep Minerals II.”
By Joe Leech, Dietitian| Courtesy of Authority Nutrition
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective
calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II ***************************************************************
A good night’s sleep is incredibly important for health. In fact, it is just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Unfortunately, the Western environment is interfering with natural sleep patterns.
People are now sleeping less than they did in the past, and sleep quality has decreased as well.
Here are 10 reasons why good sleep is important.
1. Poor Sleep Can Make You Fat
Poor sleep is strongly linked to weight gain.
People with short sleep duration tend to weigh significantly more than those who get adequate sleep.
In fact, short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity.
In one massive review study, children and adults with short sleep duration were 89% and 55% more likely to become obese, respectively.
The effect of sleep on weight gain is believed to be mediated by numerous factors, including hormones and motivation to exercise.
If you are trying to lose weight, getting quality sleep is absolutely crucial.
Bottom Line: Short sleep duration is associated with a drastically increased risk of weight gain and obesity, in both children and adults.
2. Good Sleepers Tend to Eat Fewer Calories
Studies show that sleep deprived individuals have a bigger appetite and tend to eat more calories.
Sleep deprivation disrupts the daily fluctuations in appetite hormones and is believed to cause poor appetite regulation.
This includes higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, and reduced levels of leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite.
Bottom Line: Poor sleep affects hormones that regulate appetite. Those who get adequate sleep tend to eat fewer calories than those who don’t.
3. Good Sleep Can Improve Concentration and Productivity
Sleep is important for various aspects of brain function.
This includes cognition, concentration, productivity and performance.
All of these are negatively affected by sleep deprivation.
A study on medical interns provides a good example.
Interns on a “traditional schedule” made 36% more serious medical errors than interns on a schedule that allowed more sleep.
Another study found short sleep can negatively impact some aspects of brain function to a similar degree as alcohol intoxication.
Good sleep, on the other hand, has been shown to improve problem solving skills and enhance memory performance of both children and adults.
Bottom Line: Good sleep can maximize problem solving skills and enhance memory. Poor sleep has been shown to impair brain function.
4. Good Sleep Can Maximize Athletic Performance
Sleep has been shown to enhance athletic performance.
In a study on basketball players, longer sleep was shown to significantly improve speed, accuracy, reaction times, and mental well-being.
Less sleep duration has also been associated with poor exercise performance and functional limitation in elderly women.
A study of over 2,800 women found that poor sleep was linked to slower walking, lower grip strength, and greater difficulty performing independent activities.
Bottom Line: Longer sleep has been shown to improve many aspects of athletic and physical performance.
5. Poor Sleepers Have a Greater Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
We know that sleep quality and duration can have a major effect on many risk factors.
These are the factors believed to drive chronic diseases, including heart disease.
A review of 15 studies found that short sleepers are at far greater risk of heart disease or stroke than those who sleep 7 to 8 hours per night.
Bottom Line: Sleeping less than 7-8 hours per night is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
6. Sleep Affects Glucose Metabolism and Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Experimental sleep restriction affects blood sugar and reduces insulin sensitivity.
In a study of healthy young men, restricting sleep to 4 hours per night for 6 nights in a row caused symptoms of pre-diabetes.
This was then resolved after 1 week of increased sleep duration.
Poor sleep habits are also strongly linked to adverse effects on blood sugar in the general population.
Those sleeping less than 6 hours per night have repeatedly been shown to be at increased risk for type 2 diabetes.
Bottom Line: Sleep deprivation can cause pre-diabetes in healthy adults, in as little as 6 days. Many studies show a strong link between short sleep duration and type 2 diabetes risk.
7. Poor Sleep is Linked to Depression
Mental health issues, such as depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality and sleeping disorders.
It has been estimated that 90% of patients with depression complain about sleep quality.
Poor sleep is even associated with increased risk of death by suicide.
Those with sleeping disorders, such as insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea, also report significantly higher rates of depression than those without.
Bottom Line: Poor sleeping patterns are strongly linked to depression, particularly for those with a sleeping disorder.
8. Sleep Improves Your Immune Function
Even a small loss of sleep has been shown to impair immune function.
One large 2-week study monitored the development of the common cold after giving people nasal drops with the virus that causes colds.
They found that those who slept less than 7 hours were almost three times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept 8 hours or more.
If you often get colds, ensuring that you get at least 8 hours of sleep per night could be very helpful. Eating more garlic can help too.
Bottom Line: Getting at least 8 hours of sleep can improve immune function and help fight the common cold.
9. Poor Sleep is Linked to Increased Inflammation
Sleep can have a major effect on inflammation in the body.
In fact, sleep loss is known to activate undesirable markers of inflammation and cell damage.
Poor sleep has been strongly linked to long-term inflammation of the digestive tract, in disorders known as inflammatory bowel diseases.
One study observed that sleep deprived patients with Crohn’s disease (a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines) were twice as likely to relapse as patients who slept well.
Researchers are even recommending sleep evaluation to help predict outcomes in sufferers of long-term inflammatory issues.
Bottom Line: Sleep affects the body’s inflammatory responses. Poor sleep is strongly linked to inflammatory bowel diseases and can increase the risk of disease recurrence.
10. Sleep Affects Emotions and Social Interactions
Sleep loss reduces our ability to interact socially.
Several studies confirmed this using emotional facial recognition tests.
One study found that people who had not slept had a reduced ability to recognize expressions of anger and happiness.
Researchers believe that poor sleep affects our ability to recognize important social cues and process emotional information.
Take Home Message
Along with nutrition and exercise, good sleep is one of the pillars of health.
You simply can not achieve optimal health without taking care of your sleep.
Here are some top tips for getting good sleep from Nutrition Breakthroughs:
Tip # 1 – We live in an electronics-oriented world, from computers, to cell phones, to texting, to reading books on tablets. These tools help increase our efficiency and ability to work and learn and communicate, but when it comes to getting good sound sleep, they can interfere.
One study from a university in New York found that exposure to light from electronic displays can suppress melatonin by about twenty two percent. Melatonin is a hormone made in the brain that helps to regulate the sleep/wake cycle.
It is present in higher amounts at night. The researchers recommend shutting off all electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime and doing some relaxing things before bed.
Tip # 2 – Regarding sounder, deeper sleep resulting from taking walks, studies at the University of Arizona have found that walking more than six blocks a day at a normal pace significantly improves sleep at night for women. Scientists suspect that walking helps to set our biological clock into a consistent sleep pattern.
Walking can help increase “endorphins”, which are protein-like chemicals made in the brain that can have a relaxing effect, a pain-relieving effect, and can also reduce stress and increase well-being.
Tip # 3 – Sometimes hunger can strike at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and keep one awake. If this occurs, eat something with high protein such as turkey. Turkey contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid (a component of protein) that has a calming effect. According to Ray Sahelian, M.D., “Tryptophan ….can be converted at night into melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.”
As a note, concentrated tryptophan capsules are not recommended as they can create grogginess in the morning and take some time to wear off. Other foods that are high in tryptophan include nuts, seeds, chicken, fish, oats, beans, lentils, and eggs.
Tip # 4 – When taking natural sleep aids, it’s good to remember that each person is a unique individual and doing some experimenting with the dosage can be instrumental in achieving success. At first, err on the side of taking too little rather than too much.
Another thing to keep in mind is that natural aids are not drugs and they may not work immediately with the first dose or even the first few doses. It can take up to a couple weeks to see results.
James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.”
In one study published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. In the study, taking calcium restored normal sleep patterns.
One example of a mineral-based sleep remedy is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This sleep aid contains highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. The ingredients are delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making them more easily assimilated than capsules or tablets and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference. I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot. I wake up once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours. This has been a great improvement.”
In summary, take the tips of recent research studies and take a walk each day, put the computers and cell phones away an hour before bedtime, and do something relaxing before bed. Keep a high-tryprophan snack next to your bed at night, and use an effective form of calcium and magnesium for a deeper, longer, less interrupted night’s sleep.
Surprise: One natural remedy proven in a research study to relieve hot flashes may be unexpected to some, as it is such a well-known, widely used vitamin with many benefits. It’s the famous vitamin C.
The study was called “Non-Hormonal Control of Vaso-Motor Flushing in Menopausal Patients”, published in the journal: “Chicago Medicine.” Vasomotor refers to the nerves and muscles causing blood vessels to constrict (narrow) or dilate (open). Blood vessels dilate during hot flashes — this process is the body’s way to release the heat. Extensive research indicates that vitamin C strengthens blood vessel membranes, eases hot flashes and helps slow the overall aging process.
In the vitamin C study, A total of 94 patients were studied, all of who had reached menopause. They were given 200 milligrams of vitamin C and 200 milligrams of bioflavonoids (the substance contained on the inside of orange peels) six times daily. Therefore each subject received 1200 mg of both the bioflavonoids and vitamin C each day. The results were that 67% of the subjects reported complete relief from hot flashes and 21% reported partial relief, giving this combination an overall 88% success rate.
Vitamin C is also proven to be a “Beauty Vitamin.” In support of vitamin C as an anti wrinkle nutrient, a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition announced the results of researchers from the United Kingdom. They discovered that higher vitamin C intakes were associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled skin appearance and skin dryness. Vitamin C majorly improved overall skin appearance in a study of 4,025 women aged 40 to 74.
Mineral deficiency can also be a factor in contributing to menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. The pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis writes of this in her book “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit”.
Davis says, “The amount of calcium in a woman’s blood parallels the activity of the ovaries. During the menopause, the lack of ovarian hormones can cause severe calcium deficiency symptoms to occur, including irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps, and insomnia. These problems can be easily overcome if the intakes of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are all generously increased and are well absorbed.”
Jobee Knight, a nutritional researcher and founder of Nutrition Breakthroughs in Glendale, CA., is someone who fought her own menopausal battle against sleeplessness and insomnia. She decided to put her background to use by searching out effective natural insomnia remedies for relaxation and deeper sleep.
The result was Sleep Minerals II, a natural insomnia remedy that contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, combined with vitamin D and zinc. The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable. After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep. I have much less interruption from flashes, I’m sleeping much better and I’m a lot more comfortable.”
The minerals in Sleep Minerals II are also proven to be beneficial for strong bones, healthy muscles, menopause symptoms, teenage insomnia, and correction of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D deficiencies.
Vitamin C can be found in many delicious foods and is known to be beneficial for immunity, stomach health, maintaining blood vessels, strengthening bones and teeth, healing wounds, and supporting heart and eye health.
Vitamin C is a key player in the production of collagen, which is the most abundant protein in the body and is a component of muscle, joints, bone, skin, hair and nails. High amounts of vitamin C is supplied by citrus fruits, many berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red and green peppers, and in supplements.
For good health, smooth skin, hot flash relief, and a refreshing night of beauty sleep each night, keep your vitamin C levels high and take some absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium. For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit the natural sleep aid page.
Vitamin C night sweats?
Studies have shown that vitamin C for night sweats and hot flashes is an effective remedy. Blood vessels dilate and widen during hot flashes — this process is the body’s way to release the heat. Vitamin C strengthens blood vessel membranes and can ease hot flashes per a study in “Chicago Medicine.”
When was the last time that you purchased whole, full fat yogurt or cheese and ate it without a second thought?
You may be enjoying these foods, but on the other hand, you may prefer non-fat or skim-type dairy foods as they’re supposedly healthier for us.
This isn’t by accident. Full-fat dairy has been shunned by U.S government guidelines for many years. Even today, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that only babies under the age of 2 should drink whole milk. In addition, school lunch programs provide only low-fat milk and no whole milk at all,
As a result, it’s long been expected and encouraged that children and adults only eat low-fat dairy or non-dairy alternatives. But is our avoidance of whole, full-fat dairy justified?
European studies have even suggested links between full-fat dairy and lower rates of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. The fats in whole dairy may also play a role in beneficial hormone regulation.
The Many Health Benefits of Full-Fat Dairy
While non-fat dairy offers less than 10 mg of omega 3 fatty acids (healthy fats) per cup, whole, full dairy contains 183 mg per cup! This is a dramatic difference considering that omega-3’s are known to improve risk factors for heart disease, fight inflammation and boost brain health.
Whole dairy is also rich in vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin that depends on the fat content to be absorbed into the body and to be used to generate energy, strengthen the immune system and so much more.
In addition, full-fat dairy is designed to nourish the body, so it is loaded with other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, and selenium.
Together, the contents of whole dairy support the body’s well-being in many ways:
Warm milk is a well-known and time-tested sleep remedy thanks to its high concentration of magnesium and calcium. Both of these nutrients promote rest and relaxation by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the body responsible for slowing the heart rate and conserving energy.
In fact, magnesium and calcium trigger the same chemical messengers as sleep drugs like Ambien, which are designed to treat sleep problems but come with many side effects.
If you want to enjoy the powerful mineral-based sleep benefits of whole dairy, consider also using a mineral-based sleep remedy like Sleep Minerals II. These natural sleep aids are growing in popularity as more and more people are seeking to achieve high-quality sleep without the use of sleep drugs.
Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium. It’s effective for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia. It also contains vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form mixed with natural rice bran oil, making it better assimilated than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
L.R.C. of Massachusetts says: “I had become dependent on sleeping drugs and couldn’t sleep without them. Now I take the Sleep Minerals before bed and I can sleep through the night without drugs. I’m also able to easily fall back to sleep if I do have to get up. Another benefit is that this helps alleviate my chronic fatigue and aches and pains.”
With the healthy and effective sleep remedies out there, you should never have to toss and turn through a restless night or resort to sleeping drugs.
And if you aren’t already, you may consider adding some full fat dairy to your diet to benefit from its many health improvements.
A team of researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California recently conducted a study to help determine the causes of insomnia among premenopausal and postmenopausal women. The team conducted phone interviews with 982 women and gathered information about their sleep history, hot flashes and overall health.
They found that 51% of postmenopausal women experienced hot flashes and 79% of premenopausal women had them. Among the women with the most severe hot flashes (based on their intensity and frequency), 81% of them experienced sleeplessness and insomnia.
The lead researcher said: “In this paper, we have observed without any doubt and in a significant way that hot flashes are associated with insomnia. This is the first observational study showing the link between insomnia and hot flashes while controlling for other factors that could account for insomnia in women.”
Comment from the Blog Author Nutrition Breakthroughs:
The pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis discusses the many roles of calcium in women’s health in her book “Let’s Get Well” and says: “During the menopause, the lack of the ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone) causes severe calcium deficiency symptoms to occur. At these times, high amounts of calcium should be obtained and every step be taken to insure its absorption into the blood. When these precautions are taken and the diet is adequate in other respects, the woman at menopause usually loses her irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps, insomnia, and mental depression.”
One natural insomnia remedy gaining popularity with women and people of all ages is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs in Glendale California. Sleep Minerals II contains powerful forms of the best known minerals for relaxation and sleep — calcium and magnesium, combined with vitamin D. The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules, and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable. After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep. I have much less interruption from flashes, I’m sleeping much better and I’m a lot more comfortable.”
Valerie H. in Santa Clarita, CA says: “I had such severe menopause insomnia, it took me hours to fall asleep even though I was extremely tired. I also had crawling and tingling feelings in my legs at night. I got the Sleep Minerals II and after a week of taking it, it started to work really well. I fall asleep now within 20 minutes and no more restless legs.”
By Dr. Josh Axe, a certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and nutritionist with a passion to help people eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
Do you ask yourself, “Why am I so tired?” Do you feel like no matter how much sleep you get, you’re still tired all the time? As the National Sleep Foundation puts it,
Most of us know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but too few of us actually make those eight or so hours between the sheets a priority. We’ve forgotten what being really, truly rested feels like. To further complicate matters, stimulants like coffee and energy drinks, alarm clocks, and external lights — including those from electronic devices — interfere with our circadian rhythm, or natural sleep/wake cycle.” (1)
Of course, getting a good night’s sleep is important for having plenty of energy, but there’s more to the story than just sleeping well. If you’re always struggling to keep your energy up, things like your diet, hormonal balance, exercise routine, the amount of mental stressors in your life and your genetics are all relevant factors to consider.
All of these influence your hormone levels in one way or another, and many can make it difficult to sleep at night and to deal with everyday sources of stress, leaving you exhausted.
Luckily, there are plenty of lifestyle tweaks that you can put into play in order to fight fatigue and reclaim your energy. If you are tired all the time, it is important to make sleep — high-quality sleep — a priority. But if you are reaching that eight-hour threshold and still feeling exhausted, your low energy level may be an indicator of an underlying problem. Let’s find out why you’re always tired.
11 Reasons You May Be Always Tired + Natural Remedies!
1. Thyroid Disease
Twenty million Americans suffer from thyroid disease, and 60 percent of these people are unaware of it (!), according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. (2) Thyroid disease is especially a threat for women and older adults.
Thyroid disease can cause a wide variety of symptoms including:
muscle and joint pain
weight gain or loss
poor work performance
changes in body temperature
changes in appetite
A thyroid disorder can show up in many different forms because the thyroid gland is considered a “master gland,” one that secretes hormones that in one way or another impact almost every bodily function. For example, the thyroid gland is responsible for regulating body temperature, heart rate, production of protein, and also helps control your metabolic rate and energy levels.
Thyroid Disease Causes:
How are thyroid disorders caused? There are believed to be four main contributing causes of thyroid disease, which may be the reason you feel like you’re always tired:
Hormonal imbalances caused by stress and diet
Food intolerances to things like gluten and dairy
Radiation and toxicity exposure
A nutrition deficiency in iodine or selenium
Natural Remedies for Thyroid Disease:
A thyroid disease may be causing you to feel sluggish. Here are some of the ways you can help recover:
Go gluten- and mostly dairy-free.
Avoid toxins and heavy metals like BPA (Bisphenol A) found in plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
Have your iodine and selenium levels checked and then include more food sources of both, or taking supplements if need be.
Detox your body of heavy metals by using products like milk thistle, turmeric, chlorella and cilantro, plus considering having metal fillings removed from your teeth.
Consume adatogenherbs and superfoodslike maca powder, ashwagandha and tulsi.
Adjust your diet to have a lower carbohydrate intake, but include plenty of lean protein and healthy fat sources (especially foods like coconut oil, coconut milk, avocado, grass-fed beef, wild fish, chia, flaxseeds and hemp seeds).
(Click on chart to enlarge it for better reading)
2. Adrenal Fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Adrenal fatigue is believed to affect up to 80 percent of adults worldwide and is caused by a hormonal imbalance, similar to a how thyroid disease develops. (3) Your adrenal glands are extremely important endocrine glands which release more than 50 different hormones, including the energy-regulating hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
Chronic fatigue syndrome causes similar symptoms to adrenal fatigue and is believed to effect up to 1 million people in the U.S. each year. Women are four times as likely to have chronic fatigue syndrome. especially those in their 40s or 50s, which is the age group that’s most impacted.
Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and adrenal fatigue syndrome are similar and include:
fatigue that doesn’t go away even after getting good sleep
difficulty falling and staying asleep through the night
muscle and joint pain
stiffness and tenderness
frequently getting sick, such as having a sore throat, cold or flu-like symptoms
digestive problems like constipation or cramps
trouble concentrating and remembering things clearly
These key hormones increase and decrease according to the amount of stress being put on your body. As a result, high stress levels and adrenal fatigue symptoms are closely tied — it’s also why feeling frantic, busy and high-strung equates to you feeling like you’re always tired!
Adrenal Fatigue Causes:
When you’re under a high amount of stress due to emotional, physical and mental circumstances — which is common in almost all adults in our busy modern society — your adrenalscan suffer and fatigue can set in. There are many potential causes of adrenal fatigue that make you feel completely wiped out, and theyinclude:
stressful family events
environmental toxins and pollution
chronic stress due to finances or an unfavorable work situation
emotional trauma and abuse
lack of sleep
drug and alcohol abuse
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Causes:
People with chronic fatigue syndrome usually specific, measurable abnormalities that include:
hypothalamic activity (a gland in the brain)
poor immunity, including a low count of natural “killer cells”
hormonal deficiencies that are sometimes overlooked in a standard blood tests
Natural Remedies for Adrenal & Chronic Fatigue:
In order to regain your energy, what can you do to solve adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue for good?
Change your diet by avoiding caffeine, excess sugar and carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, processed and packaged foods. Instead, fill up on hormone-balancing healthy fats, proteins and plenty of fresh vegetables.
Adaptogen herrbs can also be extremely useful for helping with adrenal and chronic fatigue. Medical studies have shown that adaptogens — naturally occurring foods that help balance hormonesand reduce the body’s stress response — can help improve cortisol levels, insulin sensitivity and result in better energy. (4) So, try adaptogens like ashwaganda, holy basil and maca root, in addition to nutrients like omega-3 fish oils, magnesium, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D3 and zinc.
Limit stress by exercising regularly in a healthy way, getting plenty of sleep, and practicing various relaxation techniques like reading, journaling, praying and any other activities that work for you.
3. Sedentary Lifestyle In today’s busy, office-oriented work environments, it is common for many people to develop a sedentary lifestyle.Sitting all day is very hard on your body and often causes soreness, pain in your neck, stiffness, back pain and chronic headaches — plus such an unenergetic lifestyle causes fatigue, making you feel like you’re always tired! Your body was made to move, so when it doesn’t get regular activities, you can experience mood issues, sluggishness, tiredness and weight gain.
What Causes a Sedentary Lifestyle:
lack of movement
lack of motivation
Regular exercise can help balance hormones, improve insulin resistance and help you to get better sleep, all of which are important for fighting a lack of energy. Exercise does wonders for the body by releasing endorphins, boosting your stamina and lifting your mood. (Of course, it can also add more muscle tone to your body while burning unhealthy fat.)
One of the biggest perks of being more active?
It helps many people regulate hormonal patterns that allow them to sleep better at night. According to the Department of Exercise Science at the University of South Carolina, there is a uniquely potent effect of exercise on sleep. The researchers of a 2005 study concluded that “no other stimulus elicits greater depletion of energy stores, tissue breakdown, or elevation of body temperature, respectively. Exercise offers a potentially attractive alternative or adjuvant (supporting) treatment for insomnia … Exercise could be a healthy, safe, inexpensive, and simple means of improving sleep.” (5)
Even when you’re feeling tired, if you think that skipping your normal exercise routine is going to positively impact your energy, you might want to think again about blowing off the gym or that run you planned. Exercise can actually help wake you up! After all, the daytime was meant for us to be active and outdoors for at least 30 minutes a day … rather than chained to your desk or slaving away in the kitchen.
While it might feel difficult to get started when you’re always tired, long-term exercise will result in better hormonal balance and prolonged energy as you get more used to it.
One study conducted by the University of Georgia, for example, found that when adults who were initially sedentary began exercising lightly over the course of six weeks — just three days a week for about 20 minutes — they had more energy overall compared to when they first began. (6)
How to Get Moving:
Try a standing desk or one that adjusts for standing and sitting.
Sit on a large exercise ball. It keeps your back straighter and engages your core without putting as much strain on your hips and legs.
Take “walk” breaks. Walk around your building, office area or parking lot for 15 minute blocks at a time.
Plan regular outdoor activities or exercise right before or after work. My favorite is a quick burst training workout first thing in the morning.
Take 5-minute stretch breaks for every hour of work.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders and energy zappers in the U.S., with an estimated 16 million adults ages 18 or older having at least one major depressive episode per year. (7)
Depression is believed to be caused by such variables as:
unresolved emotional problems
lack of sunlight
toxicity from heavy metals
Natural Remedies for Depression:
One of the biggest and most difficult symptoms to deal with regarding depression? Lack of energy and low motivation. Luckily, changes in your dietcan really help alleviate depression. This is because foods can significantly affect our mood via the actions of neurotransmitters in our brain. Follow an anti-depression diet to start boosting your ability to produce “feel-good hormones”:
Drastically reduce your intake of processed and refined foods, fast foods, sugar-heavy foods, large amounts of simple carbohydrates, and caffeine and alcohol.
Replace these energy-busting foods with proteins, vegetables, healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids and coconut foods, and other whole foods that make up a healing diet.
You can also try incorporating exercise, relaxation techniques and essential oils into your daily routine. Essential oils, for example, are an all-natural and cost-effective way to boost mood.
Try essential oils like rose, bergamot, lavender, roman chamomile and ylang ylang which have been proven to help elevate mood for many people suffering from depression and anxiety.
5. Poor Quality Sleep (Not Enough or Not Consistent)
Most adults need between 7–9 hours of sleep consistently, each and every night, to feel their best, according to the National Sleep Foundation. (8)
Poor Sleep Causes:
staying up late
certain medications or supplements
mood or hormone imbalance
trauma or abuse
pain and chronic pain
GERD//acid reflux/digestive disorders
normal family life — infants, children, etc.
There is such a range of reasons why we may not be sleeping long enough or well — and many more reasons than what I’ve listed here. However, it is important if you want long-term wellness for you and your family, to actively pursue healthy sleeping habits.
“Sleep deprivation studies repeatedly show a negative impact on mood, cognitive performance, and motor function,” state researchers from the Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine. (9)
While it’s no surprise that you need to sleep in order to avoid feeling like you’re always tired, you may be surprised to hear how just a small amount of sleep deprivation over time can really add up and harm your health and mood.
A sleep clinic study done by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that chronic restriction of sleep periods (sleeping between 4–6 hours per night over a 14-day period) resulted in significant cumulative deficits in cognitive performance on all tasks. The study concluded that “chronic restriction of sleep to six hours or less per night produced cognitive performance deficits equivalent to up to two nights of total sleep deprivation. It appears that even relatively moderate sleep restriction can seriously impair waking neuro-behavioral functions in healthy adults.” (10)
It’s also worth finding out whether or not you suffer from sleep apnea, which is a disorder that causes poor sleep quality due to uncontrollable pauses in breathing, taking shallow breaths during sleep and suddenly waking up startled. During the night, someone with sleep apnea might repeatedly stop breathing up to 30 times every hour, often for very brief moments of time and without the person being aware of it at all. In fact, a scary finding is that many people with sleep apnea think that they actually get good sleep!
To confirm whether or not you have sleep apnea, a sleep study test called the polysomnogram will need to be performed.
Meanwhile, you will know by now whether or not you suffer from narcolepsy, a chronic neurological disorder that makes it difficult for the brain to control sleep-wake cycles. This disorder adversely affects the quality of life, as symptoms include extreme drowsiness and falling asleep unwillingly during an activity like work or school.
Natural Ways to Get to Sleep Fast:
Practice relaxation techniques that help you to unwind and fall asleep, such as journaling or reading.
Take an Epsom salt bath to soothe muscles and ease your mind.
Take magnesium supplements in the range of 300–400 milligrams, which promote relaxation and relieve muscle pain.
Use essential oils such as lavender or frankincense.
Avoid sugary and carb-heavy meals before bed which can give you a “sugar high,” keeping you up.
Limit caffeine to small amounts during the morning hours, or at least cut yourself off after noon.
Turn off all electronics two hours or more before bed to avoid blue-light exposure, which can disturb melatonin levels and make it hard for your mind to become sleepy.
Anemia is a condition where a person has a lower than normal level of red blood cells. Anemia is related to a low supply of oxygen reaching cells and tissues throughout the body.
Anemia symptoms include:
feeling like you’re always tired despite how much you sleep
weak bones and muscles
being unable to concentrate
And in extreme cases:
shortness of breath
heart attack, angina
Causes of Anemia:
Anemia occurs when there’s a problem with red blood cells making hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen throughout the body, especially to the brain where it’s much needed.
It’s connected to insufficient iron levels within the blood, in addition to low vitamin B12 and folate levels.
Anemia can also be caused by a loss of blood or a diet that’s too low in those essential nutrients and, thus, hinder the body’s ability to make enough hemoglobin.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “If you have anemia, your body doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. As a result, you may feel tired or weak. You also may have other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, dizziness or headaches.” (11)
Natural Remedies for Anemia:
Anemia symptoms can be greatly reduced by improving your diet and including plenty of foods that are rich in iron, vitamin B12 and folate. These include:
Liver (from beef, chicken etc.) that’s extremely high in iron and B vitamins.
Blackstrap molasses, which a healthy natural sweetener high in iron.
Brewer’s yeast, or nutritional yeast, which is loaded with B vitamins and tastes something like cheese but is actually totally dairy-free.
Foods high in vitamin C that help with iron absorption, such as citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower.
Green leafy vegetables that have a significant amount of iron and folate.
7. Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition in which your digestive tract becomes damaged and small holes begin to develop in your gut lining. Small particles that normally can’t pass through your gut wall begin seeping through into your bloodstream. When someone has leaky gut syndrome, some of the things that can pass through the gut lining include proteins like gluten, bad bacteria and undigested foods particles.
Symptoms of leaky gut syndrome include:
digestive issues like cramps, bloating or diarrhea
skin irritations and rashes
trouble concentrating and learning
muscle and joint pain
changes in mood
Leaky Gut Syndrome Causes:
eating foods high in phytates and lectins — such as glutenous grains, nuts, seeds (not soaked or sprouted)
processed foods, added refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup
When it comes to your energy levels, leaky gut is problematic because it can result in a nutrient malabsorption that cuts short your body’s working supply of essential vitamins and minerals.
For example, B vitamins are crucial for energy production because they are responsible for turning the basic compounds found in the foods you eat — like glucose, amino acids and fatty acids — into useable “fuel” for the body. Iron and zinc levels (nutrients important for circulating oxygen throughout the body) may also become low due to leaky gut.
Natural Remedies for Leaky Gut Syndrome:
To effectively solve leaky gut syndrome, you need to adjust your diet and certain lifestyle factors, too:
The solution to healing leaky gut includes removing foods and factors that damage the gut (like gluten and sugar). Replace these with various healing foods such as fermented foods, bone broth, sprouted grains, seeds and nuts, healthy sources of protein, vegetables and lots of healthy fats.
Also consider taking gut-healing supplements like probiotics, L- glutamine,pancreatic enzymes and quercetin.
Make sure to fix any nutrient deficiencies by including plenty of whole foods in your diet that supply zinc, iron and B vitamins.
Dehydration occurs when there is an excessive loss of body fluids, especially of water and electrolytes — or not enough water taken in. When you start to feel thirsty, you body is already dehydrated.
Causes of Dehydration:
Excessive exercise without replenishing
drinking soda or other beverages instead
being outside in the hot sun for an hour or more
illness — vomiting, diarrhea, sweating
neglecting to drink water
The most common cause of dehydration is simply not drinking enough water, or substituting water intake with only soda or juice. This is a critical mistake as not only does that spike your blood sugar, but also your cells cannot get enough water to function properly!
The major electrolytes in the body — sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate — are ion compounds that literally help your body to have energy via the force of electricity that keeps your organs and cells functioning. Some parts of the body that are more “electrically wired” and require a high amount of electrolytes and water include the brain, heart, nervous system and muscles.
Dehydration affects the actual viscosity (thickness) of your blood and the amount that your heart must beat every minute, as it tries to get oxygen to all your cells.
When you’re dehydrated, your heart sends oxygen and nutrients to your brain, muscles and organs at a slower pace; as a consequence, you begin to feel:
like you have “brain fog”
weakness in muscles
unable to concentrate and perform tasks
According to researchers from the University of Barcelona’s School of Psychology, “being dehydrated by just 2 percent impairs performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor and immediate memory skills.” (12)
Natural Remedies for and Prevention of Dehydration:
Drink more water throughout the day, increase your intake of vegetables and fruits, and make sure you’re getting plenty of electrolytes in the form of whole foods. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, some of the best options to obtain electrolytes and to stay hydrated include:
To calculate the amount of water you need to drink daily to avoid dehydration, take your weight in pounds, divide that number in half. In other words, if you’re a woman who weighs 140 pounds, you need to drink roughly 80 ounces per day, or roughly ten 8-ounce glasses of water to stay fully hydrated.
But this is only the amount of water if you do not exercise or do anything strenuous! If you work out or if you are active, then you ideally need to drink at least an extra eight ounces for every 30 minutes of exercise.
9. Emotional Stress
Can tiredness be psychological? Well, emotional stress can take a huge toll on your energy levels, especially when stress progresses to the point of an anxiety disorder or a sleep-related problem.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (AADA), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the U.S. ages 18 and older (which is 18 percent of the U.S. population). The AADA states that “anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment”. (13)
Emotional Stress and/or Psychological Causes:
Anxiety disorders are caused by a complex set of risk factors including:
diet and lifestyle habits
It’s also very common for someone with anxiety to also have a form of depression, and vice versa — therefore, energy levels can suffer even more.
poor gut health
Natural Remedies for Emotional Stress:
To combat emotional stress, you’ll want to focus on adjusting your diet (more on that below), but also:
get plenty of sleep and exercise.
avoid stimulants, including those found in many processed foods.
Also try using essential oils, adaptogen herbs, and taking supplements like magnesium and B vitamins that support your ability to cope with stress.
consider a healing diet to more thoroughly resolve the problem.
10. Blood Sugar Imbalance
Most people have blood sugar imbalances that can be easily fixed, but they aren’t even aware that this is a major contributing factor to their health problems and lack of energy. Chances are if you’re always tired, your blood sugar has something to do with it. Over time, imbalances in blood sugar can lead to serious diseases like type 2 diabetes, which has sadly become an “epidemic” in the U.S., with over 12 percent of the adult population now considered diabetic according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. (14)
Symptoms of a blood sugar imbalance include:
Causes of Blood Sugar Imbalance:
poor diet (processed foods, added sugars and simple carbohydrates)
type I & II diabetes
Blood sugar levels become unbalanced when your diet is too high in various forms of sugar, which enter the bloodstream rapidly and can cause mood swings due to extreme elevations in blood glucose. Sugary foods, especially processed ones that contain tons of added sugar, put you on a “sugar high” followed by a “sugar crash.”
Natural Remedies for Blood Sugar Imbalances:
To get blood sugar levels back under control, you’ll need to really reduce, or even to completely eliminate, all sources of refined sugar from your diet. These include:
All sugary beverages — which are some of the worst culprits — like all soda, fruit juice, energy drinks, and sweetened coffee or tea beverages.
Packaged snacks like all cookies, cakes, cereals and candy.
Even natural sweeteners like raw honey and maple syrup, which can still affect blood sugar levels.
Also consider cutting back or eliminating grains, especially gluten-containing grains like wheat products (including “whole wheat”). These contain large amounts of carbohydrates that are broken down into sugar within a few minutes of consumption. They can cause intestinal inflammation that affects hormones like cortisol and leptin, leaving you feeling weak and tired.
Conventional (nonorganic and pasteurized) cow’s milk and dairy products should also be eliminated. Stay away from dairy products that contain A1 casein, which is produced by conventional cows and found in most milk, yogurt and cheese that’s available in the grocery store. When buying dairy, only purchase raw and organic kinds from pasture-raised animals.
11. Poor Diet
You’ve probably noticed that almost all of the causes of you feeling like you’re always tired can be partially alleviated through changing your diet. That’s because your diet ultimately impacts your:
hormones, causing imbalances
neurotransmitter function, which make you prone to anxiety or depression
sleep cycles, making it hard to get enough restful sleep
outlook on life
motivation and so much more
Causes of a Poor Diet Causing You To Be Tired:
One of the biggest risk factors for feeling tired all the time is being a “carboholic,” meaning someone who overeats grains, refined carbs and sugary foods. This same person also doesn’t acquire enough healthy fats, proteins, vegetables and essential nutrients that support ongoing energy.
How to Correct a Poor Diet:
Instead of hitting the dreaded 2 p.m. “post-lunch coma,” try changing your diet to incorporate more of these energy-promoting foods:
Foods high in B vitamins — B vitamins are abundant mostly in protein-rich foods. Try having plenty of sources like grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, cage-free organic eggs and poultry, and all kinds of green leafy vegetables.
Foods high in calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc, which can all help you to relieve stress and get better sleep — these include unpasteurized organic dairy products, avocados, wild-caught salmon, green vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Healthy sources of fats, including omega-3 fatty acids — wild-caught fish, seeds, coconut and olive oil, avocados, and nuts can help stabilize hormones and your mood, so you sleep through the night better and fight depression, stress, and thyroid (such as hypothyroidism) or adrenal disorders.
At the same time, try to limit or avoid the following …
High-sugar foods: Consuming too much sugar can negatively impact your energy by giving you blood “sugar highs” followed by “lows.”
Processed and refined flour: These “simple carbohydrate” foods act very similar to sugar in the body. They lead to fluctuations in blood sugar, mood swings, hormonal changes and food cravings.
Excessive caffeine: Too much caffeine can cause anxiety and hinder your ability to sleep well, even if you stop drinking it in the afternoon. Caffeine can remain in your system for up to six hours, so if you are going to have some, curb your intake by around noon each day.
Too much alcohol: Alcohol may help you to fall asleep, but it also interferes with REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep), which is the deepest sleep state that’s needed to feel rested the following day. It can also increase anxiety and make it hard to manage stress.
By Dr. Josh Axe, a certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and clinical nutritionist with a passion to help people eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II ***************************************
Cilantro and coriander are the names used in the United States to describe two different parts of the same plant, Coriandrum sativum.
It’s an annual herb, which means it blooms and must be replanted yearly. Cilantro is used to describe the green, citrus-flavored leaves.
Coriander is the common name for the plant’s light brown seeds, which are dried and used as a cooking spice.
Exactly what you call, or how you use, this amazing plant varies depending on where you live in the world, but its health benefits remain the same. Cilantro can help cleanse the body of toxic metals, it’s an incredible source of antioxidants, it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, and it has a long history of culinary and therapeutic use.
Cilantro Nutritional Facts
A great source of vitamins and minerals, cilantro should be considered a superfood, or at least a “superherb.” A small amount delivers the full daily value of vitamin A and K and is rich in vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. Cilantro is a great, low-calorie option for those who want to add more nutrients and flavor to their diet. Below is the full nutritional breakdown for 3.5 oz. of raw cilantro leaves.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin A equiv.
Cilantro and Toxic Metal Cleansing
Beyond its nutritional benefits, cilantro is a powerful, cleansing agent that specifically targets toxic metals. We are constantly exposed to toxic metals like aluminum, arsenic, and cadmium. Toxic metals tend to accumulate in the endocrine system, muscle tissue, and even deep within the bones. Once these metals reach dangerous levels, many serious health problems occur.
Common side effects of toxic metal exposure include hormone imbalance, oxidative stress from free radicals, and, in extreme cases, impaired organ function. Don’t wait to experience harsh side effects before cleansing your body.
Mercury, for example, can have a devastating effect on your health. Many people who suffer from mercury exposure report feeling more clear headed after consuming large amounts of cilantro over an extended period.
Exposure to lead is also far more common than many people realize and has many adverse effects on the body. In animal studies, cilantro has been observed to protect against lead-induced oxidative stress.
Cilantro helps cleanse the body of toxic metals by supporting the body’s natural detoxification processes (the research references are below). Compounds in cilantro leaf bind to toxic metals and loosen them from affected tissue. This process allows metals to be released from the body naturally. You can access these benefits by consuming the raw leaves or ingesting concentrated extracts.
Unfortunately, fresh cilantro goes bad very quickly. If you want to be sure to always have access to its detoxification power, supplements may be a good alternative. Supplements are an excellent choice when fresh cilantro isn’t available or if you find its taste unpalatable. I recommend Global Healing Center’s own Zeotrex™. Zeotrex is a blend of powerful herbs, including cilantro, which help promote overall health by encouraging detoxification of harmful chemicals and toxic metals.
On that note, it’s a good time to mention that not everyone appreciates the distinctive flavor of cilantro. One explanation for the difference in flavor perception is the absence of a particular gene called OR6A2. The lack of this gene seems to be common in those who report a foul taste.
Additional Health Benefits of Cilantro –
(Journal references at end of article)
Cilantro has strong antioxidant activity.
Promotes Heart Health
Cilantro may help prevent cardiovascular damage.
Provides a Mood Boost
Cilantro has been shown to promote calm feelings.
Promotes Normal Blood Sugar Levels
Some studies report that cilantro encourages normal blood sugar levels.
Supports Restful Sleep
Cilantro may help improve sleep quality.
Supports Healthy Cells
Coriander seed oil possesses antioxidant properties that may reduce oxidative stress.
Encourages Fungal Balance
Research conducted by The Dental School of Piracicaba in Brazil reported that cilantro oil has potential against an oral form of the candida fungus.
Fights Harmful Organisms
Cilantro has demonstrated neutralizing activity against several types of harmful organisms.
Encourages Brain Health
Cilantro may help support neurological health by discouraging oxidative stress.
Promotes Normal Fluid Balance
Coriander seed encourages normal fluid balance and urine flow.
Supports Bone Health
Vitamin K supports healthy bones, and eating even a small amount of cilantro provides the recommended daily serving of vitamin K.
Nutritional Support for Eye Health
Cilantro contains nutrients, including vitamin A, which support eye health.
Natural Food Preservative
Cilantro leaves and coriander seed are used to produce essential oils that act as natural food preservatives.
James A. Duke, Ph.D., a former botanist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and author of “The CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs,” has praised cilantro for the way it supports the digestive system. He recommends drinking tea made from the leaves for any form of stomach discomfort. Additionally, cilantro may encourage normal bowel movements.
Tips for Growing Cilantro
Cilantro is easy to grow, and it’s convenient to have fresh cilantro ready to use. Cilantro grows quickly and does not always transfer well, so plan on growing your cilantro from seed. Cilantro leaves stop growing and become bitter after the plant flowers. That is why it’s best to plant your cilantro in spring and fall, avoiding the longer, hotter summer days in-between.
Plant cilantro seeds in well-drained, well-fertilized soil. Choose a spot that gets full sun. Sow several seeds together one-quarter inch into the soil and six to eight inches apart. Water after planting and when the soil is dry to the touch.
Expect to wait three to four weeks before harvesting the cilantro leaves. Leaves can be harvested anytime during the growing process, but you should wait until the plant is at least six inches in height. If you want to harvest the leaves continually, sow new seeds every two to three weeks.
Unlike other herbs, cilantro leaves lose most of their flavor when dried, so it’s better to use them fresh. If you need to preserve them, freezing is the best option. The seeds of the cilantro plant—coriander—require a different approach. The seeds can be used for planting or can be dried and used in a culinary capacity. Wait to harvest the seeds until most have turned brown on the plant.
Cut off the stalk a few inches below the seeds. Tie the stalks in bunches and hang them upside down in a brown paper bag. After about five days, the dried seeds should fall from the stalks into the bottom of the bag. You can store the seeds in an airtight, glass container for up to a year. To release the flavors, dry-roast or grind before use.
How to Use Your Cilantro
Cilantro has been used in a variety of ways throughout recorded history. Ancient Greeks used cilantro essential oil as a component of perfume. During medieval times, the Romans used cilantro to mask the smell of rotten meat. Cilantro was also one of the first herbs to come to North America from the British colonies back in 1670. Today, cilantro leaves and coriander seeds are used in many types of cuisine.
The popularity of cilantro is owed to its fantastic flavor and versatility. For those who love cilantro, the possibilities are endless. From salsa and soup to meat or vegan curry, cilantro is a delicious ingredient, garnish, and flavor enhancer. For healthy, vegan recipes with cilantro, check out our organic guacamole or Indian-inspired green lentil salad with spiced carrots
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.
Ginger is not only a spice that has been used for centuries by Asian and Indian cultures; it is also one of the most effective medicinal foods in existence.
Ginger has a warm, mildly spicy flavor and is used as tea, as a seasoning for seafood and stir-fry dishes, as a powder for nutritional supplements, and as a spice for sauces and baked goods.
New studies are confirming what has been known about ginger for over 5,000 years – It remedies nausea, arthritis, migraines, restless leg syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, upset stomach, and enhances brain function and memory.
Ginger for Nausea
A British Medical Journal did a review of several studies that were done on the benefits of ginger for nausea and vomiting. The researchers found that the studies on ginger for seasickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy-induced nausea, showed positive results for ginger and found it effective.
Relief of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) from Ginger
For women with PMS, scientists at the University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran compared ginger capsules with two different kinds of anti-inflammatory drugs. 150 women participated and they were divided into three groups. Those in the ginger group took 250 mg. capsules of ginger root powder. Members of the other groups received the anti-inflammatory drugs (mefenamic acid or ibuprofen capsules).
The women’s severity of symptoms, pain relief, and satisfaction with the treatment were compared between the groups after one menstrual period. At the end of the five-month study, ginger was shown to be as effective as the drugs with relieving pain and providing relief.
Ginger for Enhanced Cognitive Abilities (reasoning, thinking and remembering)
The Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a study aimed at determining the effect of ginger extract on the cognitive function of 60 healthy middle-aged women. After taking either a placebo or ginger throughout the study period, the women were evaluated with a series of tests that reviewed their working memory, decision making ability and other mental functions.
They discovered that the ginger group had increased mental abilities and enhanced working memory and that ginger is an effective cognitive enhancer for middle-aged women.
Ginger for Arthritis and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
Arthritis causes pain, swelling, and reduced motion in joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects hands, knees, hips or spine.
Osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. Healthy cartilage absorbs the shock of movement, but when cartilage is lost, the bones rub together which can damage the joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means the arthritis results from the immune system attacking the body’s own tissues. It can affect body parts besides the joints, such as the eyes, mouth and lungs.
A recent study published in the journal “Arthritis” found that a standardized ginger extract is as effective as the anti-inflammatory drug betamethasone for both types of arthritis, but without the many side effects the drug is known for (fluid accumulation, nausea, adrenal gland suppression, insomnia and depression).
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are more likely to develop restless leg syndrome than the general population. Those who have restless leg syndrome experience unpleasant sensations in the legs described as creeping, crawling, tingling, pulling or painful. People with RLS often experience chronic insomnia and sleeplessness due to the strong urge to walk or do other activities to relieve the sensations in their legs at night. A study in the Journal of Autoimmune Diseases reported that about 30 percent of patients with RA also have restless leg syndrome.
To sum it all up, ginger is a true leader in the realm of medicinal herbs. To reap the wide variety of health benefits of using ginger, look for it in health food stores in the form of capsules, tablets or tea, or use it in cooking and baking.
This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.
Guest Post by Sharon Walsh of BestMattressReviews.com *************************
Presented by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II ************************* Adults need a full seven to eight hours of sleep every night to stay healthy, yet many people get far less. Stress, medical conditions, and poor sleep hygiene can all come between you and the rest you need. Sleep hygiene refers to those habits and practices that are conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis.
There are also positive interactions that occur between the sleep hormone melatonin and the foods you eat that can help you sleep better. The right foods help set your circadian rhythms so that when it’s time to hit the pillow, you’re ready to settle down for the night. Cirdadian rhythms are guided by our internal body clock. These cycles tell our bodies when to sleep, rise, and eat – regulating many physiological processes. The cycles are triggered by environmental cues, like sunlight and temperature.
Tryptophan – More Than Turkey
The tryptophan found in turkey is legendary in the food world for making people drowsy. While the sleep-inducing properties in your Thanksgiving dinner may have more to do with the size of the meal than the one slice of meat you eat, tryptophan does also help you sleep, but not in the direct way many people think. The body uses tryptophan to make serotonin and melatonin, both of which are natural hormones made in the brain that help set your circadian rhythms.
Tryptophan can be found in far more foods than turkey. If you’re looking for other natural sources, try adding these foods to your diet for an extra boost:
Walnuts: Walnuts are not only a good source of tryptophan but a natural source of melatonin itself. They make a great bedtime snack.
Seeds and Nuts: Pumpkin and squash seeds, in particular, provide a quick dose of tryptophan.
Cheese: If you’re looking for a healthy kick, try reduced-fat mozzarella or add something a little different like Fontina and Edam.
Calcium – Dairy and More
A warm glass of milk is more than an old wives’ tale. The calcium in dairy products and many other foods help the brain use tryptophan to make melatonin. Cheese, yogurt, milk, and even ice cream have the calcium your body needs to help regulate your sleep cycle. If you’re looking for non-dairy foods to get a calcium boost consider trying:
Spinach and Other Leafy Greens: These brightly colored vegetables are loaded with nutrients. Other greens like kale and collard greens also have high amounts of calcium.
Fortified Orange Juice: Calcium is important for many body processes. It just makes sense to add it to this popular breakfast drink. A quick glass of orange juice also gives you a dose of vitamin C.
Enriched Grains: Enriched grains and breads give you some versatility in how you get your calcium. Quinoa may be even a better choice, as it offers approximately 60-100 mg of calcium, not to mention a high amount of potassium, zinc and protein.
Develop Good Sleep Hygiene (Habits)
All your healthy eating may go to waste if you don’t develop good sleep hygiene. Your sleep environment can make or break your ability to get a full night’s rest. If you suffer from insomnia or need to get a few more hours of rest, try:
A Bedtime Routine: Not just for kids, a bedtime routine can trigger your brain to start sending the ‘sleep’ signals to the rest of your body. A warm glass of milk (remember the importance of calcium), a warm bath, writing the next day’s plans down in a journal, are a few ideas to get you started. You can include anything that helps you relax.
Cutting Screen Time: The bright light from televisions, e-readers, and smartphones can fool the brain into thinking it’s daytime, which means reducing melatonin and staying awake. Start shutting down your screens at least an hour before bedtime to keep your circadian rhythms in sync.
Bedtime Snack: While you want to avoid a heavy meal before bed, if hunger pains keep you awake, try eating a healthy snack. A handful of nuts, seeds, or cheese and crackers makes a good snack because they have ingredients that promote sleep. Raw almonds or almond butter are good choices as almonds contain 266 mg of calcium per 3 1/2 ounces.
Keep these sleep-healthy tips in mind in order to increase the quantity and quality of your nightly rest and have more energy in your days!
This natural health news blog is presented by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.